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So what should we expect from Apple's press event today?

With rumours surrounding Apple’s flagship event, here are the most notable ones surrounding the company and what it might have in store today.

A Macbook Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5, devices that won't be announced since they already exist (duh!).
A Macbook Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5, devices that won't be announced since they already exist (duh!).
Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

CONSIDERING HOW CLOSELY guarded a secret its announcements are, there is no shortage of rumours and speculations over what Apple will be announcing come this evening.

This year is no exception and with the rumour mill going into overdrive, it’s anyone’s guess what exactly is going to happen, but here are a list of the more high-profile rumours and the likelihood of them turning out to be true.

NFC will be a main feature; spearhead mobile wallet
Likelihood:
Pretty high

Near Field Communication (NFC) has been around for a number of years and is normally activated whenever a phone or device is put in close contact with another device to transfer information.

Considering how much data Apple already has with regard to payments, reports have been suggesting that it will look into including NFC to help it enter the mobile payments market. Combine this with iBeacon, which can be activated without the need for Bluetooth or WiFi, and TouchID and stores could be tempted to include it in their plans.

Also, the potential for it to be incorporated into other areas Apple is working on like HealthKit, HomeKit, CarPlay, and maybe Family Sharing (transferring settings from one device to another) means it will be a diverse addition to Apple’s portfolio.

Apple Conference Apple VC of software engineering Craig Federighi talking about Touch ID at the company's developer conference. Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

A number of security improvements to iCloud will be announced
Likelihood: Very high

This is pretty much unavoidable from Apple’s perspective. While the photos of numerous celebrities being taken from their accounts and published online wasn’t entirely Apple’s fault, it still has to take responsibility for it.

So it won’t be a surprise if part of the announcement will address concerns and announce new security additions, some immediate while others being in the pipeline, before they get down to business.

Apple will reveal its long-awaited smartwatch
Likelihood:
The signs point towards yes

As mentioned before, rumours surrounding the release of an Apple smartwatch have been circulating for the past few months with the latest ones suggesting that it will be announced today with a release date of later this year.

According to rumours, the smartwatch will be fitness-centric (tying in with HealthKit), will have a number of third-party apps to show off including Facebook, and will be NFC-enabled. It will also work in tandem with the iPhone, which is important for receiving notifications and syncing it.

While it’s very possible it will go down this route, the question of battery life – most smartwatches only last a day, limiting their use and convenience – and whether it will be seen as a fashionable item to wear will have to be addressed.

Also, while the iPhone has been supposedly leaked numerous times, the same has yet to happen for Apple’s smartwatch. Instead there has been numerous concept art which assumes that it will just be a smaller version of the iPhone and parts of the rumoured watch.

However, rumours surrounding a smartwatch go back as far as two years ago and while Google has entered the market in a significant way, there’s nothing to suggest that Apple will do the same just yet.

Motorola Smart Watch Will Apple release a smartwatch that will rival the likes of the Moto 360 (pictured) tonight? Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

One of the two iPhones announced will have a 5.5 inch screen
Likelihood:
 Possible, but a 4.7-inch version is more likely

While the screen size of iPhones have remained consistent with the standard 4-inches (diagonally that is, the 5 and 5S screens were made that little bit longer), the idea that it will announce a 4.7-inch screen iPhone is credible, but a 5.5- inch model less so.

Remember that when the first Samsung Galaxy Note came out, it was 5.3 inches (the same as the S5 conveniently enough), now the Note 3 and 4 are 5.7-inches. Both devices would be seen as difficult to use by regular users who would normally use their smartphone one-handed and if you ever held a Note 3, you will know this only too well.

Also, the iPhone 5C and 5S sold particularly well (32.5 million iPhones during the latest quarter of 2014, and 43 million for the quarter before it) so it has no real reason to shake up the formula that much.

Although the caveat is that it doesn’t specify how well either model sold (or if the 5 and 4S propped sales) so if a 5.5-inch iPhone does arrive, it will be down to Apple needing to shake things up a bit.

A 12.6-inch iPad will also be announced
Likelihood: Possible, but more likely to be announced later instead

It’s no surprise that tablet sales have taken a hit in recent times, the growing size of smartphone screens certainly hasn’t helped matters.

If the announcement of a 5.5-inch iPhone does happen, then a bigger iPad won’t be as far-fetched although it’s more likely it will be announced separately in October or March 2015, tying in with previous iPad announcements.

However, the problem with tablets isn’t the size or larger smartphones sales cannibalising them, it’s that tablets have found themselves in an awkward middle ground between laptop and smartphone.

While a larger iPad will help differentiate it from smartphones, its use for productivity is still limited when compared to a laptop. That’s something that won’t be solved by size alone.

2014 End of the Road Festival - Dorset Also, a 12.7-inch iPad will make taking those photos more difficult. Source: Richard Gray/EMPICS Entertainment

The next iPhone will include 128GB storage
Likelihood:
Unlikely

The three standard iPhone memory sizes have been 16GB, 32GB and 64GB for years now and while rumours about it releasing a 128GB version of its next iPhone is possible, it’s unlikely considering how much that would take away from iCloud Drive.

Despite the criticism it’s received in recent times, iCloud is a major part of Apple’s strategy and releasing a smartphone with extra storage might deviate from this.

The next iPhone will have improved battery life
Likelihood:
High, but the improvement will be small.

Every phone promises this with the reality only offering minimal improvements. If Apple claims something similar, it’s unlikely that it will have discovered something that will radically increase its lifespan.

Instead, battery saving methods will be prioritised instead, or a larger battery if the company does decide to increase the screen size.

Even then, smartphones become more power hungry with each edition and while the changes are less noticeable, the increases in battery life are just as unnoticeable.

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will arrive this month and next month respectively
Likelihood: Very likely

Traditionally every new iOS update has been released during September so this won’t be a surprise. Yosemite arriving in October will also be expected, but  a potential surprise could be the announcement of a new Macbook range today.

The possibility of a Macbook Air with Retina Display being revealed is one that’s been around since this year’s developer conference, but it’s likely that its release will be delayed until next year.

Apple Conference Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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